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New poll shows more Coloradans opposed to legal marijuana

August 25, 2015 Updated: August 25, 2015 at 6:08 pm
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photo - FILE - In this file photo taken Jan. 13, 2015, young marijuana plants stand under grow lamps at the Pioneer Production and Processing marijuana growing facility in Arlington, Wash.  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FILE - In this file photo taken Jan. 13, 2015, young marijuana plants stand under grow lamps at the Pioneer Production and Processing marijuana growing facility in Arlington, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) 

A poll sponsored by the Community Alliances for Drug Free Youth shows that slightly more than half of Coloradans are now opposed to marijuana legalization.

According to a release from SmithJohnson Research, 51 percent of 600 likely voters in Colorado said they would vote against marijuana legalization if it came up today. The poll, which was conducted over the phone with self-identified 2012 voters, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

The survey results show a change in mood in the years since Amendment 64 was on the ballot when 55 percent of Colorado voters supported legalizing recreational marijuana sales to adults over the age of 21.

"Voters seem to be having some buyer's remorse," said Val Smith, polling and research director from Sacramento-based SmithJohnson Research. "They don't like the impact Amendment 64 has had on their state across some very important dimensions, like edibles, teen drug use and impaired driving."

The Community Alliances for Drug Free Youth is a nonprofit organization based in San Diego that promotes state, federal and international drug policies that keep drugs out of the hands of youth.

Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project in Denver, said he'd take the survey results with a grain of salt.

"The polls that are done by people who are not trying to keep marijuana illegal show the opposite," Tvert said.

Tvert pointed specifically to a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University in April that found 62 percent of those responding to the poll supported allowing adults to posses small amounts of marijuana legally.

"It's pretty clear that most Coloradans still support the law, and quite frankly, I think it's time to move on and recognize that the entire country is moving in this direction."

The survey also asked participants how Amendment 64 law has done on a variety of public safety measures and 22 percent thought it had done a good job of preventing marijuana use from increasing among youth, 29 percent said it had done a good job of keeping marijuana edibles away from children to prevent poisoning and 28 percent said it did a good job of preventing drugged driving and workplace accidents.

The anti-marijuana legalization group, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), was quick to herald the results as a sign that "Coloradans are coming around to opposing legalization."

"The special interest marijuana industry has too firm a grip on regulations in Colorado, and voters don't like what they're getting," Kevin Sabet, president of SAM, wrote in a statement.

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